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conducting article critiques is the Pyrczak book. Following are some supplemental ideas to give you some pointers on how to get started.


There are three benefits of doing these critiques:

  • 1.

    To develop the skills of critical reading

  • 2.

    To develop the craft of preparing a critical analysis

  • 3.

    To learn the content of the article

Thus, your remarks in class and, especially, your write-up should demonstrate that you've made progress in all three areas.

Technique for Critiquing Articles

There is no fixed method for critical analysis. For our purposes in this class, the one thing a critique is not intended to do is to demonstrate your ability to summarize the article; you can

assume the reader of your critique (including the instructor) has read the article.

(In other

settings, such as a critical review of a book or article for a publication, summarization may be


In addition to the Pyrczak book, consider the following techniques (remember, none of this is carved in stone; none is required; doing all of them would be overkill; these are tips):

  • Read the article twice.

  • Outline the article either by hand or on a word processing program. The act of writing out the key points will help focus your thinking and help in remembering. (But remember, you're not going to hand in the outline.)

  • Identify the contribution: What was the purpose of the article? What's new about the article? (Bear in mind, it would not have been accepted for publication if the editors/referees didn't think it added something worthwhile to the field.) How significant or far-reaching is the "new" part? What did you learn from it that you didn't know before? How could it be applied in practice? Did the article achieve its purpose?

  • Sources: Think about where the data or other information came from that the author used to formulate his or her ideas, findings, etc. Did they document or explain adequately where the source material came from? Do the findings appear to be justified based on the source data?

  • Probe for weaknesses & limitations: Ask yourself about assumptions, limitations, and omissions in the article, either explicitly stated or implicit. For example, in a marketing article: the writer may be addressing consumer marketing and his or her points may not be as valid for business-to-business marketing; it may be based on a purely domestic perspective, thus ignoring non-U.S. settings; it may ignore competitive considerations; it may ignore other functions within the firm or resource constraints; it may neglect environmental factors; etc. etc. You may even believe the article has outright errors in it. On stylistic grounds, it may be written poorly -- too stuffy, etc. The references may omit an important source you are familiar with and which you think would be relevant.

  • Research Methods: If the article is based on primary research, think about the principles of

research design. Have the authors followed good methodology? Have they reported their

DBA801 -- Quantitative Research Methods -- Curtis -- Summer 2008 -- Page 7

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